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How to Sell Once Fired Brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by fr0stedflyer7, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. fr0stedflyer7

    fr0stedflyer7 Member

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    Hello all,

    So I have the opportunity to buy 3 barrels of once fired brass weighing 800, 750, and 737 at $600 each. My question is should I ship it to my house for me to sort and polish or should I dump it off to one of the online buy back sites like Capital Cartridge, or could I just sell them to someone on here?

    Thanks for the replies and wisdom.

    fr0sted
     
  2. lightman

    lightman Member

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    Thats totally up to you. 2200+ pounds of brass is going to be a lot of work. Most people won't have the ways and means to unload or handle that weight. Ammunition and components are plentiful and affordable right now and fired brass is cheap. The prices on some calibers like 9mm, 223/5.56 and 40 S&W are at rock bottom and are really slow to sell. You might google fired brass and check the prices from some of the online venders.

    I personally would buy it because it appears to be less than the current scrap price. That is, if its really brass and not too much steel or aluminum. I would pick through it and then sell it as scrap for a decent profit. I'm also retired and like picking through stuff like that. And I have a way to move it around and to load and unload it. Heck, I even enjoy sorting wheel weights!

    When I retired I gave some thoughts to buying brass, ammo cans and such at government auctions. Then I decided to just be retired! :)
     
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  3. iShoot17

    iShoot17 Member

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    There are many variables that come into play with a question like that, as well as detail. Where is it coming from? What is the condition? What type of brass? What caliber of brass?

    For example: sorting through nearly 2,300lbs of brass is going to take a significant amount of time unless you have a machine - and even still then. In this case, your intent is solely to make a profit. Which means, time is money and you’re going to need a lot of it.

    The other thing, is you have to ensure there is a market for your product. In this case, the Highroad is likely not your Huckleberry. While I’m sure you could sell a lot, I don’t see a demand for that quantity of once fired - especially in today’s market (some people pass up even picking up 9mm and 40 brass because their are extreme excess to be had).

    To sell in a huge bulk, similar to how you are, a person or company is going to have to be incentivize with a great deal. I’m sure you could find someone to buy it all, but then your desired profit will likely be squashed.

    Since your desire here is to profit, you need to set the criteria for yourself on what you want - time frame to sell, profit you want, etc. then that will lead you to the course of action you should pursuit.

    As far as scrapping goes - I’d check local prices before buying for that direction. You’re going to pay at least $1,800 for the brass, which I assume does not include freight. In my neck of the woods, cartridge brass is $0.80/lb. which means you’d spend $1,800 to make $1,829.60. Which, obviously, is not a wise business decision based on you have to put at least a few hours of work in to load it, get it to a scrap yard, unload it, the gas both ways, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
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  4. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Not enough information here. If it's 90% LC 5.56 with a smattering of 7.62, that's one thing; if it's 10% aluminum, it's probably worth less than asking because there's no fast way to sort it.

    And. . . you should be suspicious that the seller knows exactly what it's worth at scrap.
     
  5. higgite

    higgite Member

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    Are those gross weights or net weights?
     
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  6. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Yep, depends. From where and what does it consist of?

    Cigarette buts, gum, .22 Lr brass, mixed in with steel and aluminum cases isn’t as ideal as other things.

    Not counting the container 55 gallons of 9mm will be around 93,000 cases or in the neighborhood of 794lbs.

    For 45 ACP that would be closer to 41,800 cases and 535 lbs.

    Even with a machine it’s going to take about 3 hours to sort a 55 gallon drum of mixed brass.
     
  7. fr0stedflyer7

    fr0stedflyer7 Member

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    It would be the gross weight sorry for not specifying.
     
  8. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    There's a military base near me that auctions OFB. They usually put it in contains that would take a forklift to unload. I think they will load it for you.

    I made a few bids on some of it but was never able to buy it cheap enough to be worthwhile. I think the reman industry was buying all of it at 2-3x the scrap rate a few years ago. I was going to clean and deprime it for sale. Now that ammo prices are as low as they are you can barely give it away unless it's some obscure cartridge. If what you're buying is 5.56 or 9mm it isn't worth the effort to handle it. 40 or 45 might be different but the military and LE doesn't shoot that much of it anymore. You didn't say what it was.
     
  9. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Sick, very sick. You need professional help.;)
     
  10. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    I'm buying single headstamp cleaned brass in 9, 38, 357 and 45 for .02cents a piece right now. If I have jmorris's math correct (someone correct me if I'm wrong) you will be paying that or more.
     
  11. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Where did you find .45 ACP for $40/2k?
     
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  12. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

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    Hard decision. I guess it depends on 1) The quality of the brass 2) OP's level of interest in sorting and 3) OP's turnaround time on $1800 investment.
    If you just want to make a few hundred bucks and call it good, recyclers are paying approximately $1.00/lb for "brass shells". I know it varies by locale, but there is a baseline for minimum value.
    The current political climate (favorable to all things gun related) means 12 year lows on ammo cost. So, fewer people are getting into reloading (at least for the first time). Funny cycle, huh! It's just that demand is low. It will turn around, then all the "buy it cheap, stack it deep" comments will come out - haha.

    If Capital Cartridge is paying $1.40/lb, OP will net more profit, but also has more time involved for boxing and sending 65lbs at a time. Depends on how much time you have. The wild card here is the quality of brass. Just look at what CC is selling and for how much. At least then you have a baseline for value.

    If OP wants to play a longer game of tumbling, sorting, etc - Posting for sale ads online... selling 500 case lots of 5.56LC to the public .... I don't think I would want to deal with the public.... tirekickers and armslist lowballers.
    It may be possible if there is a local reloading shop to make an offer or see what they would give you for it. Let them tumble, repackage, and try to sell.
    If you want the most money for it, and have the time, it may be a hold investment until 2024.

    A lot depends on what the brass is. A friend of mine bought 50# of brass swept from a local indoor range. I helped him sort it. I guess the range has a fibrous insulation for sound deadening and it was all throughout the brass. We had to constantly sweep up once we sorted a pile. The other thing is that while there was a good amount of brass he could use, it was all dependent on what was fired that week. He received a good amount of unusable brass, but also a good amount of rimfire, more than once fired, chocolate brass, calibers that only .001% of people would actually reload, etc.
     
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  13. jeeptim

    jeeptim Member

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    Right now Aaron metals in Hayward pays $1.56 lb for brass just have it dropped shipped and make $500 per barell and do nothing but a few phone calls easy
     
  14. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I think it was $1.39# here not too long ago. Sometimes they will deal with you if its super clean or in quantity.
     
  15. jeeptim

    jeeptim Member

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    Aaron here in Ca, like any other place it needs to be clean not polished .
    Good fair honest people to deal with its worth a ph call and send them some pix you may not need touch or see it in person.
    Have the guy your buy in it from sell it to you ship it to Aarons and cash the check.
     
  16. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    I've been buying from the same guy here in SE Wisconsin for years.
     
  17. higgite

    higgite Member

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    Does he have a name? Link? Email? Phone? RFD? Pony Express? Carrier pigeon? Smoke signals?
    Does he ship or is that face to face?
    Safe to assume you mean 2 cents apiece, not .02cents?
     
  18. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    Yep - 2 cents
    All my transactions with him are face to face which probably explains the price.
    I'll ask him if he wants his name out on the interwebs.
     
  19. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    I'd buy a few thousand from him for $0.02 each and shipping.
     
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